What Goes in the Green Bin?
Almost 50 per cent of household waste (by weight) is organic material. The City’s Green Bin program helps keep waste out of landfill by collecting organic material and turning it into compost that can be used in gardens and parks. The City collects organics from approximately 460,000 houses, as well as apartment and condo buildings, schools and City-owned buildings.
The City is currently testing the use of Green Bins (organic waste) in 20 parks across the city. In parks that are not part of the Green Bin pilot, residents are encouraged to dispose of organic waste in garbage bins.
Turning Green Bin Waste into Renewable Natural Gas
To process Green Bin organic waste, the City uses anaerobic digestion, which generates a by-product called biogas. In 2019, the City and Enbridge Gas Distribution Inc. will begin installing equipment at the Dufferin Solid Waste Management Facility that will allow the City to turn the biogas produced into renewable natural gas (RNG) that can be used to fuel the City’s waste collection trucks.
Important Information About Coffee Pods
All coffee pods, including those that are labelled or marketed as “compostable,” must be disposed of in the garbage or brought back to retailers/manufacturers who have return programs.
The City does not accept coffee pods in its Green Bin organics or Blue Bin recycling programs.
The City recently commissioned research related to disposal of single-serve coffee and tea pods. The findings include feedback from Toronto residents about use, attitudes and disposal behaviours.
- Line your kitchen catcher or Green Bin (not both) with any plastic bag (e.g. grocery, milk, produce). It does not have to be compostable
- Twist or loosely tie the plastic bag (no twist ties)
- Take food items out of their plastic bags/wrap, as too much plastic results in lower quality compost
- Check your collection calendar or Waste Wizard to see if packaging is recyclable
- To prevent odours, wash kitchen catchers and Green Bins frequently (both can be cleaned with dish soap.
- Kitchen catchers are available at selected retailers and Community Environment Day events
- For new, additional or replacement Green Bins for houses, contact 311
- Fruits, vegetables
- Meat, poultry, fish products (including bones)
- Pasta, bread, cereals, rice
- Dairy products, eggs and shells
- Cake, cookies, candy, nuts
- Animal waste, bedding, cat litter
- House plants, including soil
- Coffee grounds/filters, tea bags
- Diapers, sanitary products
- Soiled paper such as food packaging, ice cream containers, popcorn, flour and sugar bags
- Soiled tissues, napkins, paper towels (unless they have been used with chemicals/cleaning supplies)
- Plastic bags (soft and stretchy)
- Aluminum pie plates, trays, roasting pans
- Foam polystyrene meat trays (liners are garbage)
- Plastic food containers and cutlery (black and compostable plastic is garbage)
- Hot drink cups
- Plastic food wrap (stretchy)
- Aluminum foil wrap
- Chopsticks, popsicle sticks, toothpicks
- Dryer sheets, baby wipes, make-up pads, dental floss, cotton tipped swabs, cotton balls
- Hair, pet fur, feathers, wax, cigarette butts, wine corks, vacuum bags/contents, fireplace and BBQ ashes, gum
- Medical waste: cloth and plastic bandages, gauze, intravenous, catheter/colostomy bags and tubes
- Pieces of wood